Ecclesiastes 7:20
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.

King James Bible
For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

American Standard Version
Surely there is not a righteous man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For there is no just man upon earth, that doth good, and sinneth not.

English Revised Version
Surely there is not a righteous man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

Webster's Bible Translation
For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

Ecclesiastes 7:20 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

There now follows a proverb of devout submission to the providence of God, connecting itself with the contents of Ecclesiastes 7:10 : "Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight which He hath made crooked! In the good day be of good cheer, and in the day of misfortune observe: God hath also made this equal to that, to the end that man need not experience anything (further) after his death." While ראה, Ecclesiastes 1:10; Ecclesiastes 7:27, Ecclesiastes 7:29, is not different from הנּה, and in Ecclesiastes 9:9 has the meaning of "enjoy," here the meaning of contemplative observation, mental seeing, connects itself both times with it. כּי before מי can as little mean quod, as asher, Ecclesiastes 6:12, before mi can mean quoniam. "Consider God's work" means: recognise in all that is done the government of God, which has its motive in this, that, as the question leads us to suppose, no creature is able (cf. Ecclesiastes 6:10 and Ecclesiastes 1:15) to put right God's work in cases where it seems to contradict that which is right (Job 8:3; Job 34:12), or to make straight that which He has made crooked (Psalm 146:9).

14a. The call here expressed is parallel to Sir. 14:14 (Fritz.): "Withdraw not thyself from a good day, and let not thyself lose participation in a right enjoyment." The ב of בּטובis, as little as that of בּצל, the beth essentiae - it is not a designation of quality, but of condition: in good, i.e., cheerful mood. He who is, Jeremiah 44:17, personally tov, cheerful ( equals tov lev), is betov (cf. Psalm 25:13, also Job 21:13). The reverse side of the call, 14ab, is of course not to be translated: and suffer or bear the bad day (Ewald, Heiligst.), for in this sense we use the expression רעה ראה, Jeremiah 44:17, but not ברעה ראה, which much rather, Obadiah 1:13, means a malicious contemplation of the misfortune of a stranger, although once, Genesis 21:16, ב ראה also occurs in the sense of a compassionate, sympathizing look, and, moreover, the parall. shows that רעה ביום is not the obj., but the adv. designation of time. Also not: look to equals be attentive to (Salomon), or bear it patiently (Burger), for ראה cannot of itself have that meaning.

(Note: Similarly also Sohar (Par. (מחור): הוי וגו, i.e., cave et circumspice, viz., that thou mayest not incur the judgment which is pronounced.)

But: in the day of misfortune observe, i.e., perceive and reflect: God has also made (cf. Job 2:10) the latter לעמּת corresponding, parallel, like to (cf. under Ecclesiastes 5:15) the former.

So much the more difficult is the statement of the object of this mingling by God of good and evil in the life of man. It is translated: that man may find nothing behind him; this is literal, but it is meaningless. The meaning, according to most interpreters, is this: that man may investigate nothing that lies behind his present time, - thus, that belongs to the future; in other words: that man may never know what is before him. But aharav is never (not at Ecclesiastes 6:12) equals in the future, lying out from the present of a man; but always equals after his present life. Accordingly, Ewald explains, and Heiligst. with him: that he may find nothing which, dying, he could take with him. But this rendering (cf. Ecclesiastes 5:14) is here unsuitable. Better, Hitzig: because God wills it that man shall be rid of all things after his death, He puts evil into the period of his life, and lets it alternate with good, instead of visiting him therewith after his death. This explanation proceeds from a right interpretation of the words: idcirco ut (cf. Ecclesiastes 3:18) non inveniat homo post se quidquam, scil. quod non expertus sit, but gives a meaning to the expression which the author would reject as unworthy of his conception of God. What is meant is much more this, that God causes man to experience good and evil that he may pass through the whole school of life, and when he departs hence that nothing may be outstanding (in arrears) which he has not experienced.

Ecclesiastes 7:20 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

there

1 Kings 8:46 If they sin against you, (for there is no man that sins not,) and you be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy...

2 Chronicles 6:36 If they sin against you, (for there is no man which sins not,) and you be angry with them, and deliver them over before their enemies...

Job 15:14-16 What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous...

Psalm 130:3 If you, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?

Psalm 143:2 And enter not into judgment with your servant: for in your sight shall no man living be justified.

Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

James 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us...

doeth

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities...

Cross References
Romans 3:23
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

1 Kings 8:46
"If they sin against you--for there is no one who does not sin--and you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near,

2 Chronicles 6:36
"If they sin against you--for there is no one who does not sin--and you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive to a land far or near,

Job 15:14
What is man, that he can be pure? Or he who is born of a woman, that he can be righteous?

Job 33:12
"Behold, in this you are not right. I will answer you, for God is greater than man.

Psalm 143:2
Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you.

Proverbs 20:9
Who can say, "I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin"?

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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